Looking to buy synthetic skin chuzao in the Tokyo area

Hello! Shamisen newbie here.

So, I took up shamisen a few months ago and fall more and more in love with it each practice session. I’m now looking at buying my own shamisen.

I’m looking for any shamisen makers/shops in the Tokyo area, but specifically ones that offer shamisen with synthetic skin.

I imagine most shops probably deal with all sizes of shamisen, but just in case it’s relevant: I’m learning shinnai-bushi on a chuzao.

I was looking to either buy new or used. I just wanted something a bit more durable for the humid months or something I could travel with for when I have to go to the States to visit family (who live in Florida where it’s also very humid, lol).

Thanks in advance and sorry if there’s a thread about this already!

Hi, welcome.

Most shops that I’m aware of offer synthetic skinning. Here are four shops you could get in touch with (including Bachido’s JP wing).



Katoh and Kameya need little introduction.


Seion, or Muramatsuya, is originally based where I’m at in Toyama. Great service, but high prices.

Bachido’s JP wing. Alternatively, get in touch directly with Tokyo Wagakki.

Failing that, I’d suspect your Shinnai teacher could direct you to their favored store.


Thank you for this! I did check out a few of these shops already (Kameya and Katoh). Katoh-san’s shop was always closed when I tried to pop by on the weekends, though. I sent an email but I imagine it must have gone to junk or something. I’ll probably still keep trying because I’m definitely interested in those electric shamisen for later to add to my collection.

Funny enough, I found out my teacher had her own shop of used shamisen and accessories and was able to buy a used one (plus all the accessories) at a great price from her (I think she either forgot to mention to me she had a shop or was too modest to suggest it). I’ll have to post about it later because it’s a great shop and my teacher and her family are super kind people.

She didn’t seem to know about synthetic skins, though (or perhaps was too unfamiliar with the material that she didn’t feel comfortable suggesting). But I’ll check out these other suggestions for looking into replacement skins. I think she said she knew some folks at Tokyo Waggaki, so maybe I can get in contact about replacing my skin with a sturdier one later. It’ll just come down to finding the best price.

Again, thank you, I’ll definitely save this list for later.

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